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News reports translated from Indonesian language news sources.

Congregation walkout after Idul Fitri sermon turns into tirade against 'blasphemer' Ahok
Viva News – June 25, 2017
There was an unusual sight during the 1438th Idul Fitri prayers at the Wonosari Square in the Gunungkidul regency of Yogyakarta province, Central Java, on the morning of Sunday June 25. The congregation dispersed in the middle of a sermon by mosque preacher Ikhsan Nuriansyah Bajuri.

Military initiates 171717 'love and affection' movement to safeguard national unity
Detik News – June 13, 2017
Indonesian military (TNI) chief General Gatot Nurmantyo says that the simultaneous 171717 events that are to be held nationwide on August 17 at 5pm, which are being initiated by the TNI, will be a love and affection (kasih saying) action that will involve all religious elements, particularly Muslims as the majority religious in Indonesia.

Jakarta deputy governor elect elaborates on plan to recruit thugs as debt collectors
Kompas.com – June 2, 2017
Jakarta Deputy Governor elect Sandiaga Uno has elaborated on his idea about how to solve the problem of thuggery (premanisme) in Jakarta. According to Uno, Jakarta can solve the problem by providing job opportunities to thugs.

After HTI, government mulls banning other social organisations
Tempo.co – May 31, 2017
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says that the government is currently studying the banning of several social organisations which are not in line with the state ideology Pancasila, threaten public order and the unity of the state or cause intolerance.

Police close down May 1998 event following threats my Islamic militia group
Tempo.co – May 27, 2017
A People's Ceremonial Stage to remember the May riots in the Central Java city of Solo was unable to show the documentary film "The May 1998 Tragedy" after police requested that the organising committee cancel the event planned for the evening of May 26.

Lawmakers call for 'disruptive' environmental groups to be closed down
Sindo News – May 20, 2017
Several lawmakers are calling on the government to close down or expel non-government organisations (NGOs) working for foreign interests because they are undermining national sovereignty and disrupting the Indonesian economy.

Jokowi: Anti-Pancasila and communist groups, we'll clobber them, stamp them out
Kompas.com – May 19, 2017
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reaffirmed that the state ideology of Pancasila is the one and only ideology that is acceptable in Indonesia.

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-Latest News
Idul Fitri sales disappoint retailers
Jakarta Post – June 27, 2017
Most retailers feel the pinch of people's weakening purchasing power during this year's Idul Fitri celebration, as sales of various products have declined.

Police struggle to find Novel's attackers
Jakarta Post – June 27, 2017
As pressure mounts, the National Police admitted they were struggling to identify the perpetrators of the April 10 acid attack against top Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan.

House must quickly revise antiterrorism laws, says PAN lawmaker
Jakarta Globe – June 27, 2017
Lawmaker Mulfachri Harahap said on Tuesday (27/06) the attack that killed a police officer in Medan, North Sumatera, should speed up the legislature's revisions of Indonesia's antiterrorism laws.

7-Eleven loses steam due to alcohol ban, tight margin: Business group
Jakarta Post – June 26, 2017
The alcohol sales ban at minimarkets and a low profit margin are likely the main causes behind the planned permanent closure of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Indonesia, a business group leader has said.

A fatwa against sexual violence: the story of a historic congress of female Islamic scholars
Open Democracy – June 26, 2017
Can women interpret Islamic law? Scholars who think so recently gathered in Indonesia, where fatwas were also issued against child marriage and environmental degradation.

GNPF-MUI seeks to ease tension with President during Idul Fitri meet
Jakarta Post – June 25, 2017
A delegation from the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) met with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Sunday with the hope of easing tension and smoothing communication with the administration.

Istiqlal's Idul Fitri sermon reminds public of patriotism
Jakarta Post – June 25, 2017
Prominent cleric Quraish Shihab delivered the Idul Fitri sermon at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Sunday, addressing the masses about the importance of nationalism and patriotism as values equal to their belief in God.

Media mogul declared intimidation suspect
Jakarta Post – June 23, 2017
The National Police officially named businessman-cum-politician Hary Tanoesoedibjo a suspect on Friday for allegedly intimidating an Attorney General's Office (AGO) official last year.

Jokowi's agrarian reforms likely to fall short of target this year
Jakarta Post – June 23, 2017
The administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will likely fail to reach its target of distributing a total of 5 million land certificates to people across the country this year, as data shows that as of June the Agrarian and Spatial Ministry only managed to hand over about 50,000 of them.

Touted sea change in Indonesia shipping network may hit choppy waters
Reuters – June 23, 2017
With its towering new cranes and wharves that can handle some of the world's biggest ships, Indonesia's main international port has been shaking off its reputation for inefficiency and congestion with a $2.5 billion upgrade.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative.

Martial law in the Philippines – By Ben Reid. June 6, 2017
'Drastic situation' for minorities in Myanmar – March 20, 2017
The fall of Park Geun-hye – Kim Bullimore. March 16, 2017
Socialist leader assassinated in the Philippines – March 10, 2017
Trump's China aggression drawing Australia closer to war – By Tom Bramble. February 5, 2017
Refugees on Manus Island and Nauru should be brought to Australia – By Con Karavias. February 5, 2017
Mass arrests in Indonesia during West Papua protests – By Arnold Belau. December 2, 2016
Big anti-government protests continue in South Korea – By Kim Bullimore. November 22, 2016
Malaysian students threatened by Monash University – By Tess Dimos. November 21, 2016

More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesia: Torture occurs repeatedly as perpetrators enjoy impunity
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – June 23, 2017
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on the occasion of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Indonesia: Indigenous Papuans face persecution while exercising their right to freedom of assembly and expression
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal – June 14, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Press Legal Aid (LBH Pers) regarding the persecution of members of the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) and Local People Assembly (PRD) on 30-31 May 2017.

Indonesia: Army personnel in Papua brutally attacked protesters in front of the military base
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal – June 9, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the brutal attack by officers of the military regional command (Korem) 172/PWY in Jayapura, Papua against congregants of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Sion Padang Bulan.

Indonesia: Stop persecution against the right to freedom of expression and opinion
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – June 5, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has become aware that persecution against people who exercise their right to freedom of expression and opinion is very widespread in Indonesia. The violations are mostly committed by hardline groups.

Indonesia: Police raids foster anti-gay hysteria
Human Rights Watch Statement – June 2, 2017
Indonesia's national police force should immediately investigate recent raids by local law enforcement on gatherings of gay men, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to national police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian.

Letter on police raids against LGBT people in Indonesia
Human Rights Watch – June 1, 2017
We write to express concern about a pattern of police action against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Indonesia that is both discriminatory and undermines the fundamental right to privacy. This is evident in recent police raids in Surabaya and Jakarta and in a recent statement by the West Java police chief.

Victory for press freedom: Timor journalists spared from jail
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Statement – June 1, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Timor Leste Press Union (TLPU) and the Timor Leste Journalists Association (TLJA) in welcoming the decision today by the Timor Leste judiciary to dismiss charges against two journalists charged with slanderous denunciation.

Indonesia: Social media users threatened with legal action for posts
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Statement – May 31, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), Indonesia, in strongly criticizing the latest action by members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) against social media users across Indonesia.

Indonesia: Anti-terror unit should be evaluated in wake of suicide bombing
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – May 26, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns the suicide bombing and explosion in Kampung Melayu, Jakarta, Indonesia, which killed five persons and injured 10. Three police officers and two alleged perpetrators died in the blast.

West Papuan human rights commissioner tortured and threatened by the Indonesian police
Free West Papua Statement – May 26, 2017
This statement has been written by West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda after Indonesian police officers brutally tortured Nareki Kogoya from the National Human Rights Commission.

Indonesia: Caning of gay men an outrageous act of cruelty
Amnesty International Public Statement – May 23, 2017
This sickening spectacle, carried out in front of more than a thousand jeering spectators, is an act of utmost Josef Benedict, Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Indonesia: Stop public flogging of gay men
Human Rights Watch Statement – May 19, 2017
Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should immediately intervene to prevent the scheduled May 23, 2017 public flogging of two young men convicted of same-sex sexual relations, Human Rights Watch said today.

Papua remains restricted under Widodo; 72 cases of violence against journalists
Alliance of Independent Journalists Statement – May 19, 2017
Two cases of violence against journalists in Papua in the past week highlight the empty promise of Press Law protections in Indonesia's easternmost province, as well as the false hopes of President Joko Widodo, who more than two years ago promised to open foreign press access to the area.

Timor Leste journalists facing jail for defamation
International Federation of Journalists Statement – May 18, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the South East Asia Journalist Unions (SEAJU) in strongly condemning the latest development in the slanderous denunciation case against Timor Leste journalists Oki Raimundos and Lourenco Martins.

Indonesia: Revoke the caning sentence of gay men in Aceh
Amnesty International Public Statement – May 17, 2017
Responding to the sentencing of two gay men to 85 lashes each for consensual same-sex sexual relations, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said:

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Identity politics: mobilising religious sentiment in democratic Indonesia
Indonesia at Melbourne – June 14, 2017
More than any other previous Indonesian election, the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election saw candidates playing with identity politics to attract votes.

Indonesia: Jakarta is still the oligarchs' turf
New Mandala – June 12, 2017
As some scholars argue, there is insufficient proof of the 'neoliberal' nature of the policies that outgoing Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has led.

Indonesia: Indonesian Borneo is finished: They also sell orangutans into sex slavery
Counter Punch – June 2, 2017
How destructive can man get, how ruthless, in his quest to secure maximum profit, even as he endangers the very survival of our planet?

Indonesia: Anti-Ahok protests: why were Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah sidelined?
Indonesia at Melbourne – May 4, 2017
In late 2016 and early 2017, Indonesians were shocked by series of mass demonstrations against Jakarta's Chinese and Christian Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama over alleged blasphemy against Islam. The protests prompted many critical analyses about an apparent backslide in Indonesian pluralism, religious tolerance and democracy.

Indonesia: Trump's Indonesian allies in bed with ISIS-backed militia seeking to oust elected president
The Intercept – April 19, 2017
Associates of Donald Trump in Indonesia have joined army officers and a vigilante street movement linked to ISIS in a campaign that ultimately aims to oust the country's president.

Indonesia: A former first lady presses on for a tolerant, feminist Islam – New York Times. April 7, 2017
The transgender Muslim women gazed around the reception room with wonder. It was loaded with lavish tributes from foreign rulers: gold filigreed swords from Kuwait, elaborately painted Chinese urns and elegantly framed Quranic verses.

East Timor: Southeast Asia's newest nation faces an election that could make or break its future – Southeast Asia Globe – January 16, 2017
With much of the population living in poverty and oil wealth running dry, Timor-Leste's upcoming elections could be the public's most important decision since independence.

More >>

Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
Rizieq lawyers want porn case probe terminated over 'invalid evidence'
Jakarta Globe – June 22, 2017
Lawyers representing firebrand Islamic Defenders Front cleric Rizieq Shihab have urged the authorities to terminate an investigation into a pornography case allegedly involving him, due to "invalid evidence."

Freeport Indonesia workers to extend strike for a month: union
Reuters – June 22, 2017
Thousands of mine workers at the Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc will extend their strike for another month to protest against layoffs, a union official said on Wednesday.

The 0.1 Percenter: Millionaire households control half of Indonesia's wealth
Jakarta Globe – June 21, 2017
A tiny number of millionaire households will control more than 50 percent of Indonesia's financial wealth – around $900 billion – by 2021, a new report from Boston Consulting Group showed, making it harder for the government to end economic inequality in the country.

Between persecution and prosecution: vigilantes, the state and the politics of offence
Indonesia at Melbourne – June 21, 2017
Indonesia has had a tumultuous year dealing with a divisive election and massive protests against Jakarta's former governor, led by the Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI).

House threatens to stop deliberating budgets of KPK, police
Jakarta Post – June 20, 2017
A member of the House of Representatives inquiry committee into the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Mukhamad Misbakhun, has suggested that House Commission III overseeing legal affairs may halt deliberation of the 2018 budgets for the KPK and the National Police.

Indonesia cracks down on terrorism with new laws and joint patrols
Sydney Morning Herald – June 20, 2017
Indonesians who join terrorist groups overseas will face a maximum 15 years' jail under new anti-terrorism laws expected to be passed by September.

Indonesian military ready to help police stop terrorism
Jakarta Globe – June 20, 2017
Indonesian Military, or TNI, Chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said TNI will stand ready to help police stop the spread of radical ideologies and terrorism, as instructed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday (19/06) during a fast-breaking event at the TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta.

PLN cuts subsidies for 19 million households
Jakarta Post – June 20, 2017
Nineteen million households will no longer receive an electricity subsidy as state-owned power company PLN has complied with the government's commitment to only provide an electricity subsidy to poor people.

Evidence shows dogs in Bali are being brutally killed and the meat sold to unsuspecting tourists
ABC 7.30 Report – June 19, 2017
The animals are brutally caught and then butchered not far from the beaches visited by more than 1 million Australians every year. Some of the animals are poisoned, posing a risk to human health, according to a leading toxicologist.

Indonesia's 'smoking baby' kicked his habit but the battle against tobacco rages on
Sydney Morning Herald – June 18, 2017
Aldi? Rizal is known around the world as "Indonesia's smoking baby". Shocking footage of the toddler precociously puffing on fags went viral on YouTube and became a symbol of the smoking crisis in a country described as a last Eden for tobacco manufacturers.

Thai NGOs short-sighted because of single-issue politics
Ugly Truth Thailand – June 18, 2017
Recently a number of NGOs in Thailand, including Amnesty International and many local groups, have been announcing "demands" on the military junta.

As religious tensions rise, foreign investment in Indonesia slows
Nikkei Asia Review – June 17, 2017
The growth of foreign direct investment in Indonesia is slowing. The latest data shows that it expanded 0.9% on the year in the January-March quarter. What is weighing down the figure? Religious and ethnic tensions.

Jokowi must pay serious attention to Novel's allegation: Activist
Jakarta Post – June 16, 2017
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo must pay "serious attention" to the allegation made by top corruption investigator Novel Baswedan that a high-ranking police officer was behind the severe acid attack on him, a Muslim activist said.

A tale of two populisms: Uncertainty among New York's Indonesian student diaspora
Asian Correspondent – June 16, 2017
At an event at the Indonesian Consulate in New York in June, visiting Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs of Indonesia General (rtd) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan addressed the young Indonesian university students who were among the crowd.

As homelands devastated, Indonesian tribe turns to Islam
Agence France Presse – June 16, 2017
Indonesian tribesman Muhammad Yusuf believes his conversion from animism to Islam in a government-supported program will eventually make his life easier.

Seeking government's intervention in Freeport's labor problem
Antara News – June 15, 2017
Over the past several years, labor strikes have hit PT Freeport Indonesia (FI), but the subsidiary of the US mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold has managed to find win-win solutions to the problems.

KPK leaders to meet police top brass after Novel's explosive allegation
Jakarta Post – June 15, 2017
Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and National Police leaders will hold a meeting next week to discuss the latter's investigation into the acid attack on ace KPK investigator Novel Baswedan.

Lawmakers slammed for closed-door deliberation of antiterrorism law revision
Jakarta Globe – June 15, 2017
Activists have blasted lawmakers for deliberating behind closed doors plans to implement longer detention of terrorism suspects, saying there are no grounds to do so amid heightened rights concerns involving law enforcement.

Lawyer for Timor spy demands inquiry
Australian Associated Press – June 14, 2017
The lawyer representing a former-Australian-spy-turned-whistleblower in an East Timor bugging saga has called for a Senate inquiry. "It's a litmus test on our moral leadership," Bernard Collaery told a rally of about 50 people outside Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.

Papuan Catholics protest against their own bishops
UCA News – June 14, 2017
All five bishops serving in Indonesia's Papua and West Papua provinces have come under fire from indigenous Papuan Catholics for "staying silent" over alleged social injustices.

KPK should ignore 'legally flawed' House inquiry: Constitutional experts
Jakarta Post – June 14, 2017
Members of the Constitutional Law and State Administrative Law Lecturers Association (APHTN-HAN) and experts from Andalas University's Constitution Study Center (PUSaKO) have called on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to ignore the controversial inquiry by the House of Representatives into the antigraft body.

Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory
The Guardian – June 14, 2017
The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump's label has been laid bare, with employees speaking of being paid so little they cannot live with their children, anti-union intimidation and women being offered a bonus if they don't take time off while menstruating.

Indonesia grapples with inflation dilemma as subsidies cut
Bloomberg – June 14, 2017
What's good for Indonesia's fiscal chiefs is proving a headache for the central bank. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's push to phase out electricity subsidies that have drained the budget of billions of dollars is boosting prices in the economy and threatening the bank's 3 percent to 5 percent inflation target.

Trump's claws penetrating Bali
Dissident Voice – June 13, 2017
"America first" and "to hell with the rest of the world"! One single stroke of hand, one signature, and over 1,000 hardworking people in Bali, Indonesia, suddenly ended up on the pavement. No second thoughts, no mercy.

Papua movement challenges Jakarta on climate
Radio New Zealand International – June 13, 2017
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has urged Indonesia's government to put words into action about helping the Pacific with climate change.

Saudi Arabia is pouring money to push Indonesia toward Wahhabism
AhlolBayt News Agency (ABNA) – June 12, 2017
Just a few months ago, the governor of Indonesia's largest city, Jakarta, seemed headed for easy re-election despite the fact that he is a Christian in a mostly Muslim country. Suddenly everything went violently wrong.

Activists, experts urge lesser role for military in fighting terror amid new legislation
Jakarta Globe – June 11, 2017
Activists and experts have urged the government to immediately draw up a separate bill on military assistance instead of pressing ahead with the current revision to the existing antiterror law, which would grant a greater role for the military in countering terrorism.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.
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